Florida’s Prison System Under Siege by Coronavirus

How To Register and Own Website Addresses (.com, .net, .org, etc) For Under $20/year. [REGISTER YOUR DOMAINS]
To comply with FTC regulations, all links on this site could lead to commissions paid to the publisher. Please see Advertising Disclosure in sidebar.

Prison
Prisoners at Dade County Correctional Facility, Florida. Date unknown. Photo credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The novel coronavirus death toll in Florida’s prison system reached 60 yesterday, as a massive surge of infection continues to spread between workers and the people serving time.

Corrections Secretary Mark Inch is in self-isolation, battling the virus after a visit to Columbia Correctional Facility. He issued a statement last Friday expressing sadness at the death of the first correctional officer, Robert Rogers, due to COVID-19 complications.

But as the death count climbs, Erin Haney – national policy director with the REFORM Alliance, a criminal-justice advocacy group, said swift action – and alternatives to incarceration – are needed to save lives.

“These are human beings who really, really deserve the same protections from this virus that the rest of us deserve,” said Haney. “None of the people behind bars there were sentenced to ‘death by COVID.’ “



Big Tech is censoring our publication severely reducing our traffic and revenue. (How they do it: NewsGuard) You can support our mission of truthful reporting by making a contribution. We refuse to let Silicon Valley crush us into becoming just another regurgitated, propaganda driven, echo-chamber of traditional news media and we need your support. You can also help by signing up for our featured story emails.
 

A spokesman for the Department of Corrections redirected our interview request to its website, which shows 9,821 inmates testing positive, along with 1,911 staff members, as of yesterday.

Haney – also senior counsel with the justice reform group #cut50 – said since March, her organization warned Florida’s prison system was particularly vulnerable to the pandemic because of its older population.

In 2016, with roughly 13,600 people age 55 and up in prisons, Florida led the nation for the highest percentage of older people incarcerated.

Haney outlined what’s known as the SAFER Plan, which includes the release of elderly and vulnerable people to home confinement.

“At the end of the day, prisons and jails are currently the worst place to be during a pandemic,” said Haney. “Its just incredibly difficult to create the kind of social distancing and quarantining necessary to stop the spread of this virus.”

The plan also calls for suspending jail time for technical violations, alternatives to incarceration and contact visitation, free medical visits and personal protective equipment, along with extra precautions for correctional officers.

Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to corrections@publishedreporter.com and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)